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    Thanks for all of the votes – the team has definitely taken notice of the activity around this issue. We moved to SDI as a result of customer requests, but it looks like we’ve got work to do to really nail the use cases people care about. From a read over the comments, I see a number of cases that we will want to investigate further as we think through MDI vs SDI. We’ll get someone from the team to take a deeper look, and we may reach out to some of you for more clarification as we go. Thanks again for all the voting and passion here!

    John, Excel

    Frank commented  · 

    Structural engineer here who has separate modules built for different connections, member types, load combinations, etc. Putting all of this into one monster sheet would be ridiculous, and so would taking each module one at a time into a new workbook for each project. It is much more efficient to open the multiple sheets I need (and only those I need) and have them all communicate properly with each other, as well as being able to see what impact a change in one place has on the multiple other components without a dozen ribbons clogging up the view space.

    Frank commented  · 

    The registry changes makes sure that the files all open in the same instance (or all in separate instances if you want - I do not want that - or even to open in separate instances if you open them one way and the same instance if you open them in a different way). It does not fix the MDI vs SDI issue. For me, this fix where all files open in one instance, makes it usable. When it was a craps shoot whether they opened in the same instance (and therefore linked cells were linked) or not, Excel was completely unusable. If the files open in separate instances, changes made in one file will not affect other linked files until after a save and update. This defeats the purpose of linking files.

    But since it does not make Excel MDI (meaning multiple document interface - where multiple documents are open under the same ribbon), many other problems still exist. The biggest problem for me is that I loose too much real estate to the ribbon when trying to compare multiple documents at the same time. So Roy's request #2 is exactly opposite of what I want - he is asking for SDI - that is the first I heard on this "forum" of anyone who wanted that. But that is why we need the choice.

    Frank commented  · 

    SDI has not been good to me. I made multiple changes to the registry so at least all my sheets open in the same instance by default (different windows, but same Excel instance). But for some reason since last week now which monitor the files open on is a complete ****-shoot! Now when I select a number of files in Explorer and hit "Open" on the right-click menu, I have files showing up on whatever screen they choose! My setup uses one dedicated monitor for Excel, so I never place excel windows on another monitor. Now, because of the morons over at MS, I have to move several of my Excel windows back onto my Excel monitor after opening!

    Is MS trying to keep adding the time it takes to do anything so that soon enough all users will only be using MS products because they have no time for anything else? It doesn't work that way...

    Frank commented  · 

    Initially I was hopeful for some change back by MS. It seems that MS thinks this is low priority because it took a while before people noticed. But the reality is that no one noticed the change because they were continuing to use older software. Now, only because users are updated to the newer ****** software is this issue being noticed.
    But the slow response from MS is disheartening. I am beginning to install alternatives to see what can meet my needs. I will start with Apache OpenOffice and LibreOffice to see how quickly I can convert my functions and macros to their languages. Does anyone else have alternative program ideas? Are there paid alternatives that will be more responsive?

    Frank commented  · 

    You can still get two instances of Excel even with MDI. Even now you have the choice between multiple instances and a single instance when opening - you make this adjustment in the registry. The major problem now is that even in a single instance, each workbook has its own ribbon (its own window) and it is difficult to simultaneously view multiple workbooks because of the duplicated ribbons.

    Frank commented  · 

    Agree with RS & Malcolm. MS needs to allow separate instances, as well as MDI and SDI options for multiple files open in a single instance.

    Frank commented  · 

    @Alison, Yes, I did this yesterday. The simplest way that worked for me yesterday was to open each file from "Open" command in Excel. After messing with the registry, I understand even this may not work for everyone.

    I followed the procedure from the link I pasted below. Before doing anything in regedit, I right-clicked HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT and exported the file as the date (03-06-18.reg). If you want to restore it, just navigate to where you exported the file, double-click, and follow the prompts.

    The link explains what to do in various locations of the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT. One example is to note that *.xlsx will open using the Class Name Excel.Sheet.12. Since I use this often, I would follow the directions in the link for that key, along with others. See the table in the link for each class to modify depending on which file extensions you use.

    So navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Excel.Sheet.12\shell\Open\command. Double click the (Default) value to change the value to omit the %1 at the end and change it to /dde so it looks like:
    "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Root\Office16\EXCEL.EXE" /dde
    quotation marks and all - instead of what is probably there that looks like:
    "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Root\Office16\EXCEL.EXE" "%1" (the "%1" is causing the trouble and needs to be removed)

    I also followed the directions for the ddeexec keys including both revising the (Default) value to [open("%1")] and adding the "topic" key under ddeexec and setting that (Default) value to "system" (without the quotation marks). I am not sure if this is necessary, but I did it because the link said to.

    You will need to do this sequence for each class name you want to open this way (e.g. Excel.CSV, Excel.Sheet.8, Excel.SheetMacroEnabled.12, etc.)

    When I refreshed the shell32.dll by running the command "regsvr32 /I shell32.dll" in an elevated "run" prompt an error popped up. I closed the error and rebooted. No new error upon reboot, and it worked like I hoped.

    My computer is running Windows 10 and I am using Office 2016 (16.0.9029.2106) 32-bit.

    Frank commented  · 

    @Anonymous You are correct in that my comment does not address the window issue (MDI/SDI issue where new ribbon etc. is shown for each sheet), but it does correctly explain how to get the multiple files to open in a single instance. I apologize for that confusion, and for using this non-forum to post this.

    My desire was to have all files open in a single instance so that "switch window" (or Cntrl + Tab) could be used to switch from one sheet to the next. Maybe someone else needs only that as well. This link, which I found after posting my comment yesterday, will help with registry editing to use dde for file open to keep files in one instance:

    Unfortunately, it does not allow multiple sheet view with only one ribbon...

    Frank commented  · 

    I can open multiple files in one Excel instance, but only from Excel. Open a file; then use the Excel Open command, navigate to the folder (in my case the multiple files are all in the same folder), select all the files, then click "Open". It works this way.

    It used to work from Explorer where I could select all the files and click open, and they would all open in one instance - the one already open, if applicable. It worked this way until last week!

    We used to be able to control this behavior through regedit, but it seems those edits did not correct the problem in my case...

    Frank supported this idea  · 

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